To celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and its glorious history as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal on Monday virtually inaugurated the office building, Divisional Office Hubballi in Karnataka and Food Security Museum at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu along with a Photo Exhibition.
During his address, he congratulated FCI for the inauguration of a new building of the Divisional Office at Hubballi in Karnataka. He said, "It is a step towards realizing PM's vision of creating resilient infrastructure for Food Security. From being a trade center for cotton to a center for food, security-Hubballi reflects the growth of a New India."
He also congratulated all on the Inauguration of Food Security museum at Thanjavur, showcasing India's Agri evolution from dependency to self-sufficiency. He said that the Food Security Museum is the first museum in India to depict India's food security story from a "ship to mouth" existence to becoming one of the largest food grain exporting nations. He said that the Cultural Capital of Tamil Nadu will now be home to the Agricultural history of India.
The minister said that under PM Modi, the Centre Government has aimed to enable farmers to feed India and the world and earn a good livelihood. He said from the highest procurement to delivery of foodgrains, PM's commitment towards farmers, migrant workers is an inspiration. He said when the pandemic struck, PM Modi's first thought was to ensure the well-being of poor and migrant brothers and sisters.
He thanked FCI for its dedication and efforts in food distribution to nearly 80 crore beneficiaries at an expenditure of Rs 2 lakh cr under PMGKAY, ensuring 'no poor person sleeps hungry'. Every beneficiary was given 5 kg of rice/wheat & 1 kg of pulses/ month.
"I thank PM Modi for his commitment; the whole country is indebted to PM for his support during such a challenging time. The buzzword of 'Food Security', has attracted the attention of every nation in the world. 'Food Security' is synonymous to 'Farmer Security'. With 'Farmer Security' comes 'Consumer Security'. The Centre has taken reformative steps, which has seen into highest procurement of foodgrains from farmers at MSP. KMS 202121-22 commenced recently & benefitted 3.7 lakh farmers with MSP value of Rs 11,100 crore. With its resilience, capability and capacity, India has emerged as a trusted partner to the world," he said.
He said that the Government's commitment towards the Food Security of People of India has been unparalleled, resulting in the highest procurement of foodgrains from farmers at Minimum Support Prices. The procurement has also been extended to other states like Himachal Pd., Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, where farmers did not benefit from MSP procurement earlier. The prime minister's commitment to farmers' welfare and their income augmentation have also been unparalleled. We have ensured that the benefit of MSP is directly paid into their bank accounts to sell their foodgrain produced to the Govt. Agencies. He said he appreciated the efforts of FCI and other State Agencies who have made tremendous efforts in making this vision of Prime Minister in to great success.
To augment the infrastructure required for ensuring Food Security, the Government's vision to create adequate storage for foodgrains has resulted into the creation of scientific godowns and modern storage silos. It is an ongoing process for which the agencies like FCI and CWC and the help of State Govts' storage agencies have created 69 LMT extra storage by effectively utilizing the covered storage space. Besides, the Govt. is also creating modern storage silos in the hub and spoke model for 108 LMT across the country.
The Govt's efforts to safeguard the Food Security needs of every citizen in the country has been unprecedented as the Prime Minister ensured that no person goes hungry during the pandemic time. For this purpose, all the agencies under the Deptt. of Food and Public Distribution has been working tirelessly. FCI and Railways have transported record foodgrains in every nook and corner of the country. We have issued 180.83 LMT of foodgrains under PMGKAY free of cost to all the needy people ever since the pandemic started over and above the foodgrain distributed under NFSA.
"Apart from working on various aspects of Food Security maintenance in our country, I am happy to note that they are equally indulgent in reaching out to people and making them known among stakeholders through various events, most notable being the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav," he remarked.
Goyal said that the world is talking about the significance of food security. "Thanks to the work of farmers and all of you, we were able to provide food grains to the people of our country and elsewhere in the world," he said.
He added that the National Museum on food Security at Thanjavur is the first such museum in the country that shall depict the efforts of all stakeholders of Food Security maintenance. "I am sure all Indians and especially young Indians and children shall be benefited immensely by a visit to this museum," he said.
"Our Govt. has always been sensitive to the infrastructure needs of people working tirelessly in Food Security maintenance. The new building of Divisional Office at Hubballi is a reflection of our commitment and support to FCI," he added.
The Food Museum at Thanjavur will be one of its kind of attractions. The Museum is theme-based and shares how food was collected from the Mesolothic era to various storage methodologies and challenges faced by the early man. The Museum also encompasses some key information about the Food Corporation of India related to its history, Procurement, Storage and Preservation, Movement, and Distribution.
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Saddhvi Niranjan Jyoti also attended the event.